I first created this post in 2007, and apart from the home page, it has been the most viewed page on my blog (over 6,000 views). So here it is again, with a link to the latest OED update.
It’s fascinating to peruse the new words added to the OED. (Here is the latest update, December 2010.) Brand names often enter the language as generic terms, and I’ve listed a few of them below. (I wonder who they have in mind with the word “flip-flopper”. And what on earth is a cotylosaur? I thought “chicklet” meant a little piece of gum, but I was disappointed to discover that it means a small chick or girl.)
Goo·gle – verb: to use the Google search engine to find information on the Internet.
bo·tox – noun or verb – A proprietary name for: a preparation of botulinum toxin which is injected into specific muscles to create temporary paralysis, as part of the treatment of various medical conditions and in the cosmetic treatment of wrinkles of the face (esp. frown lines and crow’s feet). Also: treatment by this means; a course of such treatment.
pop·sicle – noun – A proprietary name for: an ice lolly.
hoo·ver – verb: to clean with a vacuum cleaner (Chiefly British)
Kleenex [see more ads]
klee·nex – noun: the proprietary name of an absorbent disposable cleansing paper tissue.
xe·rox – noun or verb: a name for a copying machine or the act of reproducing printed, written, or pictorial matter by xerography.
ther·mos –noun: a vacuum bottle or similar container lined with an insulating material, such as polystyrene, to keep liquid hot or cold
pro·zac -noun: a brand of fluoxetine hydrochloride
span·dex –noun: a synthetic fiber composed of a long-chain polymer, used chiefly in the manufacture of garments to add elasticity
jell·o -noun: brand of dessert made from a mixture of gelatin, sugar, and fruit flavoring, dissolved in hot water and chilled until firm
band·aid -noun: adhesive bandage with a gauze pad in the center, used to cover minor abrasions and cuts
vi·ag·ra -noun: sildenafil citrate, used to treat impotence
frig·i·daire – noun: the proprietary name of a brand of refrigerator.
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